In today’s ever changing world, many people are realizing that the industry they are working in simply just isn’t doing it for them anymore. Whether it is a money thing, your surroundings or simply not happy where you are we are have our reasons. Barber Pete, or my good friend Pete Karjalainen is a prime example of that. After successfully being in the adult industry for over twenty years under the names Eric York and Pete Finland, he has decided to go off on his own as a successful barber in the Washington D.C. area. He has developed himself into something quite different from what he used to do yet still keeping up with his image in his former life and not making any apologies for it. I know several people who have denounced what they used to do in that industry, and Pete simply just looks back on it. Now he is “Under Construction” and doing his best in another field which seems to be doing quite well for him. I sat down with him over the weekend to get his take on it all, including a very controversial commercial that he was involved in a couple of years back. Take a look and see for yourself.
How did you get your start in the industry?
It began when I met porn agent, David Forest. At the time, he had all the big names under his wing- Ryan Idol, Chi Chi Larue, and so on. He asked me to sign up with him. I was new in LA and needed the cash. That’s how it started.
Did you prefer being Eric York or Pete Finland?
David Forest came up with name Eric York. Peter is my real name. I prefer Pete.
Why the name change?
I felt like I needed a change. With Eric I was the guy next door, I’m a grown man now. Like I said, peter is my rel name. My rel last name is one of those typical Finnish last names that no one can pronounce. And since I had been working with The Tom of Finland Foundation since 1999, using Pete Finland just made sense and it was easy for people to remember.
What’s your opinion on the industry today?
When I started, Viagra didn’t exist, therefore, we relied on our own passion on the set. These days, they have all the pills and injections to get hard, so there often seems to be very little chemistry. There are a lot of hot guys, but I think those who enjoy porn wish to see more chemistry and passion.
Why did you ultimately leave it?
It stopped being fun. I did my last scene in London in the summer of 2012, and it was anything but fun. Sex is supposed to be passionate and intimate, not cold and calculating. Don’t get me wrong – I’m VERY grateful for the twenty years in the business … and that I lived to tell about it. The places i saw and the people i met were just awesome. Simply, it was time to move on to something that I enjoy and feel passionate about. At the end, I received the Raven’s Eden Living Legend Award. That was a good place to retire.
Tell me about the experience doing the rugby commercial.
It was such an interesting experience. I was walking my dog in West Hollywood and a woman approached me and asked if I wanted to be in a commercial. We did short video interview. They called me to a casting agency in Santa Monica a few days later. There were 17 guys for the same role. Since i have a Finnish accent, I thought that I didn’t stand a chance and I almost left. I was already there, so I decided to stick around. When it was my turn, they kept asking me if i had a problem kissing another guy. I said, “Absolutely not”, and I was hired. The day of the shoot, we started at 7AM in a Venice Beach sports bar with a real rugby team and several extras. The famous kiss was a secret from the rugby team. The funny thing is that while we were waiting around, I started to bond with the guys from the team and felt very comfortable. Late in the day, knowing that the kiss is going to come, it started to be nerve-racking. I didn’t know how the rowdy team was going to react to the surprise. Randy, the guy i was kissing, froze! That’s why i grabbed his head and pulled him in. I figured: if we are going to do this, we are going to do it like we mean it! The first take was the most important and the one that really mattered. The camera needed to capture the reactions of the rugby players. Of course we had to do it 7-8 times, but the reactions you see are totally real. Afterwards, everyone was very cool.
How did you transition into becoming barber Pete?
l’ve always been fascinated about facial hair and barbering. Facial hair for men is what make up is for women – both can hide or enhance your facial features. I view the interaction between me and the guy sitting in my barber chair as the ultimate in male bonding, even is there is no conversation. I enjoy that. In addition, my sister has her own salon in Helsinki, so it’s kind of in my blood.
Anything else you are working on now?
No, I’m just focusing on barbering.
What are your hopes for the future?
To make a name for myself as a barber. Maybe even develop my own product line for men’s hair care later on.
I have been doing this whole blogging thing for four years now and in doing so have interviewed some pompous and arrogant people in their own fields. Barber Pete is the exact opposite, and he is not only a kind and sweet guy but also smart and sexy to boot. Did I mention sexy? Yeah because thinking otherwise would be like saying pizza tastes disgusting and is stupid. If you would like to know more about Barber Pete, including how you yourself can book an appointment with him in the D.C. area, check out his Twitter & Instagram for more information. He works for the Logal 14 Salon & Spa which you can find more of here.